Rachel Leigh Cook's This is Your Brain on Drugs PSA is an icon of '90s insanity. Moral panic about drug use swept the nation. If you recall, this was the era of super predators: Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign and her husband Ronald's Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The result was that people thought drugs were destroying America. More specifically, people thought that drugs like crack were disproportionately more dangerous than drugs like cocaine. Though the two are more or less chemically identical, the Reagan-era policies punished people of color to an insane degree. Those policies were largely rectified by the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, but the damage to American inner cities was done.
On top of all that, you had legitimately bizarre theater like this going on.
Like, what? Your brain is an egg? Independent of making literally zero sense, Cook was one of the major figures in the heroin-chic movement. That, of course, highlighted models that looked bone-skinny and exhausted. Kate Moss was the ultimate example, but you're probably already picturing the type of models we mean.
Now, Cook is back with an anti-War on Drugs PSA that deals with the actual realities of drug use. The new ad follows an egg of color as he gets hounded throughout life by a legal system that seems rigged for him to fail. The contrast with a white egg, who lives his life as a non-criminal, is stark.
Watch below. It's worth your time.